Last Three Games prove more and more Penguins are too reliant on needing great goaltending


On the Penguins Jim Rutherford is always in trade discussions and will be until the deadline clock expires. That’s just how he operates. Pittsburgh also continues to monitor one swing for the fences trade target as the deadline is eight days away. More on that tomorrow. Despite the Penguins entering Sunday one point out of a playoff spot, multiple NHL sources contend Rutherford continues to tell others around the league he believes he has built a legitimate Stanley Cup contender as the roster is currently constructed and that will play out as this group gets healthy. But, is that reality? An observation of the Penguins almost sixty games in and a clear observation from the past three games is how the Penguins are going to sink or swim depending on whether they get great goaltending or not. Matt Murray saved the Penguins this week with how well he played vsRead More »

Big Game Murray saves the day in a four point swing; Playing at a 95 point Pace & More Takeaways


Big Game Murray shines vs Flyers Surrendering 51 shots, the Penguins escaped Philadelphia with a 4-1 win thanks to a 50-save performance from Matt Murray who became the seventh goaltender in Penguins history to make 50 saves in a game. According to the Penguins, Murray also set a Penguins record for saves in a period with 28 in the second period vs the Flyers. Murray was dominant in the second period onslaught as Philadelphia outshot Pittsburgh 28-6 in the period, yet, Pittsburgh out-scored the Flyers 1-0 in the period. “He played unbelievable,” Sidney Crosby said. When Murray is locked in like this, he’s playing upright, playing big and his angles are near perfect. That was all on display in a big time performance from Murray in another four point swing game against a division foe that is trailing Pittsburgh in the standings. It was a major swing game for PhiladelphiaRead More »

PIT – FLA Fallout: On mind-boggling decision to have Matt Cullen center the 2nd line; Options with Kessel limited & More Buzz


Penguins – Panthers Fallout A 3-2 overtime loss to the lottery Florida Panthers is nothing to pound your chest about but with the Metropolitan Division so bottled up, Mike Sullivan went the positive route in the Penguins getting a point in Florida. “It’s a big point and that’s what I told the guys afterward,” Mike Sullivan said of his group. The daily swing in the Metro has Pittsburgh entering Friday in the final wildcard spot and just three points up on Carolina. What the coaches will like from the performance vs Florida compared to the Carolina game was the Penguins battling much better in the tough areas. Still, allowing 42 Shots against this Panthers team and being at 45% in possession 5-on-5, were numbers you don’t want to see against an inferior opponent. Among the head scratchers in this one was the use of Matt Cullen. Playing Cullen in theRead More »

Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes


Lack of support game, Possession woes continue vs Hurricanes In a game that was a four point swing, the Carolina Hurricanes closed to within four points of the Penguins in the Metropolitan division with a 4-0 shutout win on Tuesday night. The Penguins who have lost six of nine, dropped their second straight and there was a trend between the Toronto and Carolina game. Both games turned into 5-on-5 games with limited power play opportunities. Pittsburgh had just two power play chances vs the Hurricanes and one vs Toronto. The Penguins have been outscored 6-1 during 5-on-5 play over their last two games. More concerning 5-on-5 #’s vs the Leafs and Hurricanes: 44% possession vs TOR, 41% possession vs CAR. Against the Leafs, even though the Penguins built up a 2-0 lead, they were behind the eight-ball in the way the game was playing out as the Toronto game sawRead More »

Trade Analysis: What Bjugstad, McCann bring to the table; Penguins Personnel Shift, Risky Philosophy & the Wildcard of the deal


PENGUINS PERSONNEL SHIFT HAS BEGUN PIT Receives: Nick Bjugstad, Jared McCann FLA Receives: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, 2019 2nd RD Pick, 2019 4th RD Pick (PIT), 2019 4th RD Pick (MIN) There was growing momentum in league circles when Derick Brassard was scratched Wednesday night that he had played his last game as a Penguin. Indeed that became the case when Jim Rutherford today shipped Brassard, Riley Sheahan along with three draft picks to the Florida Panthers for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann. This is a deal the Penguins internally are thrilled about. As discussions over the summer began of an organizational shift in acquiring players with more size, effectiveness along the wall, Nick Bjugstad became a top target even prior to the 2018 draft. Pittsburgh thinks so highly of Bjugstad that the Penguins even approached Florida about a deal centered around Phil — Is Bjugstad the Penguins long-term thirdRead More »

Takeaways: Rutherford coy about Brassard’s future, encouraged by Malkin’s 200 ft game vs TB, talks power play adjustments in radio interview


Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford appeared on 937 The Fan this morning. Here are some takeaways from the interview with The Fan Morning Show: On Derick Brassard: Rutherford was asked early in the interview about Brassard’s future and when you have a player actively involved in trade talks like Brassard is right now, you’re going to coy as Rutherford was. “He’s

Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz: Ferland talks inching towards the finish line


Latest Penguins Trade Deadline Buzz [Canes getting close on Ferland] [The Wildcard in talks] [Silfverberg not Ferland preferred by other decision makers in org? [Brassard done in PIT?] [2 Prospects coveted by other clubs in high-level talks] Ferland talks inching towards the finish line 1. There is a growing sense among clubs that were in the mix for Carolina Hurricanes winger Micheal Ferland that Pittsburgh There is one mystery surrounding the Ferland talks. This isn’t Don Waddell’s style by any means but multiple executives say Hurricanes 4. One executive on the Penguins willingness to go big in the rental market.

Penguins accomplish pre-deadline goal of starting to create some cap flexibility


Penguins ship Jamie Oleksiak back to Dallas A priority for Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has been creating some financial flexibility by the trade deadline. One of those priorities in recent weeks has been finding a new home for defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and the Penguins today have traded Oleksiak to the Dallas Stars for a 2019 4th round pick. Oleksiak returns to Dallas where he was a first round pick. Pittsburgh dished out a three year contract to Oleksiak in the summer, valuing his size/toughness + some offensive potential the Penguins believed Oleksiak could tap into where the team was comfortable giving a bottom-pairing d-man that term. However, the Penguins being married to the Jack Johnson contract, plus how high the organization has become of Marcus Pettersson, for a team always looking to add, you can’t have a 7th defenseman when you’re blueline is healthy eating up over $2 million againstRead More »

Rumors: Penguins in heavy trade talks with Hurricanes, Blue Jackets?


Penguins have a dance partner in Carolina to pursue creative/complicated trade scenarios MORE BUZZ — Even if the Penguins can’t find the right fit to replace Brassard as the third line center, conversations around the league is that a soft trade Early buzz a month out from the deadline has the Avalanche being a top landing spot for Hayes and the Islanders are widely regarded as a heavy favorite to land Matt Duchene if Ottawa puts him on the market next month. [/hide] — A bottom-6 center flying under the radar is Bryan Boyle of the New Jersey Devils. Always a favorite among coaches, Boyle has 12 Goals on the season and there’s a sense the Devils might be able to nab a second-rounder for Boyle. —